ClassicFlix (Teen Scene) – Review # 9: Father Is a Bachelor (1950)

From March 2015 to April 2017, I was writing the monthly Teen Scene column for the website ClassicFlix. My objective was to promote classic films among teenagers and young adults. Due to the establishing of a new version of the website, it’s now more difficult to access to the old version and read the reviews. But, I’m allowed to publish my reviews on my blog 30 days after they had been published on ClassicFlix! So, I decided to do so as you could have an easy access to them. If you are not a teenager, it doesn’t matter! I’m sure you can enjoy them just the same! My ninth review was for the 1950’s classic Father Is a Bachelor directed by Abby Berlin and Norman Foster. Enjoy!

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Fall is at its end, which gives us the clue that it’s Christmas soon! Outside of exchanging gifts and eating turkey with your family and friends, another thing you can do with them is, of course, watch a classic film. The perfect Christmas movie is, first and foremost, a family movie that doesn’t necessarily have to be where people celebrate Christmas. As long as you spend a great time watching it with your relatives, it works.

It’s a Wonderful Life and The Sound of Music are some of the best films to watch during Christmas holidays, but I had the desire to make you discover something new, a film you might have heard nothing about before. My choice for this month is the little-known Father is a Bachelor, directed by Abby Berlin and Norman Foster in 1950, starring William Holden and Coleen Gray.

Father is a Bachelor tells the story of Johnny Rutledge (William Holden), a singer and vagabond stuck in a small town when his friend, Professor Mordecai (Charles Winninger), is put in jail. While sailing on the quiet town lake in his boat, Johnny lands on the dock of a rustic country house. A little girl, May, welcomes him and introduces him to her four brothers: January, February, March and April. Johnny soon discovers they are orphans living in the house alone. They haven’t told anybody of their predicament, scared to be sent to the orphanage.

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Johnny is an independent person, but somehow feels responsible of these children once he has met them. He becomes a father figure to them, especially to the little May. He’ll do anything to make their life better. One day, he meets pretty Prudence Millett (Coleen Gray), daughter of Judge Millett (Lloyd Corrigan). She worries about the children living without their parents, but, to protect them, Johnny will make her believe he is their uncle.

Father is a Bachelor is a feel good movie, not only a family movie. You’ll never see such a more touching and lovable William Holden. From the beginning until the end, it makes you smile. And, in the sad moments, you’ll still have a feeling of hope. Without revealing it, you’ve probably guessed this film has a happy ending, but, honestly, who is willing to see something depressing for Christmas? I want my December’s choice to cheer you up!

Father is a Bachelor also has the distinction of being a quasi-musical. It’s not really, but people do sing at some points. It goes without saying, as Johnny has a talent for singing and uses it to earn his living. What a marvelous pleasure to see and hear William Holden sing! It adds a certain softness to his character and makes the film even more joyful. Unfortunately, it’s not William Holden’s real singing voice we hear. He was dubbed by Buddy Clark, an American singer of the ’30s and ’40s. I have no idea if William Holden himself could sing, but their choice is well picked, as the illusion is almost perfect. Buddy Clark’s singing voice fits perfectly with William Holden’s face.

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You have guessed one of the major reasons why this film should grab your attention is because it’s something different, something new. Apart from this, the richness of the characters is quite appealing. Some of them are seen less often than others but they all have their importance. They complete each other and all learn something about how we must deal with life in the right way; that we sometimes have to forgive, forget, move to something else, etc. It’s, of course, always a great thing when a classic film shows you such an abundance of life lessons.

This film’s magic is also expressed by the fact it simply makes you appreciate what you have. The children’s richest wish is to have a father and a mother. Happily, Johnny is here to take care of that.

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Father is a Bachelor remains a very simple film. It’s not a super production, and it didn’t win the Best Picture Oscar but it’s an entertaining one for everybody. Teens will appreciate it, as well as mommy, daddy, the little brother or sister, etc. It’s by being curious that we discover a film that can become a favorite.

So, what are you waiting for? Watch Father is a Bachelor, and may you share a beautiful moment with your family. Merry Christmas to all!

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Many Thanks from me and Golden Holden!

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Just like its first edition, my 2nd Golden Boy Blogathon was a success and I’m forever thankful to all the great bloggers who participated with articles of top quality! I host a few blogathons, but this one might be my favourite. 😉 Anyway, it’s great to see that Bill is not forgotten today, that he is still loved, admire and, despite his personal problems, respected.

He certainly was one of a kind and, as Emily at The Flapper Dame said, I’m sure he would have been the most handsome 99 years old man!

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You might like to know that your articles have all individually been shared, not only on Twitter, but also in a great William Holden Tribute group on Facebook where fans truly appreciated what they read! If you are on Facebook as well, come say hello. We’re nice! 😉

If you still didn’t have the time to publish your article, no worries! I will gladly add it to the roster and promote it on Twitter/Facebook, but well, don’t wait next month either lol because I’ll be in Spain!!

To read all the entries, please click here.

And, once again, a big thanks from me and Bill!

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My Favourite Golden Holden Moments

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As I told you during last year’s edition of the Golden Boy Blogathon, William Holden is an actor I snub for a much too long time, and he finally became my 2nd favourite actor (behind James Stewart). In the text tribute I wrote in his honour, I explained how he became one of my most favourite actors, why I love him, etc. Today, in honour of what would have been his 99th birthday, I wanted to do something similar, but different of course. I didn’t really feel like doing a movie review or focus on only one of William Holden’s performances. So, I thought it would be fun to present you my favourite William Holden movie moments! I once thought of doing this with my favourite movie moments in general, but this was too difficult. So, why not focus on a more precise subject? Why not William Holden? These are all movies moments that make me love and admire our Golden Boy more and more. Moments that make me recognize, not only his talent but that also make me be fond of him and realize how he can be so appreciated. Moments that makes him one of a kind. In other words, these will be various. It could be funny, sad, serious moment, it doesn’t really matter.
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I’ll present these in chronological order (according to the movie) and will try as much as possible to give an explanation to why each of these moments is a favourite.
By the way, I prefer calling them “moments” instead of “scenes” because these can last only a few seconds.
Ok, here we go!
Golden Boy ( Rouben Mamoulian, 1939)
His first entrance: When our Golden Boy first put the foot on the imaginary side of the movie industry. Well, not exactly has he had minor roles in two other films before but was uncredited. Anyway, that was the first time we were seeing him in a way to remember. The William Holden of Golden Boy was young, only 21, with an innocent look on his face and curly hair. What I absolutely love about this entrance is that it is a very spontaneous one. He interrupts Barbara Stanwyck and Adolf Menjou, who are about to kiss each other, by entering in the room in quite an energetic way. A remarkable entrance indeed!
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When he plays the violin: I love these moments (because there are more than one) because he expresses a beautiful vulnerability that we often find in some of his early roles. There’s a lot of sensibility in him and we can feel the emotions through his closed eyes.
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Every time he says “papa”:  Well, I just think that’s sweet. It makes a change from the usual “daddy”, “dad”, “father”, etc. I call my dad papa! (Well, I’m francophone so it’s normal). It’s also a good way to show the Italian blood of his character. Oh, and that’s one thing I like about Joe Bonaparte, because I have Italian blood too!
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When they sing “Funiculi Funicula” : Ok, that’s not only a “William Holden moment” as it involves all his family in the film, plus Barbara Stanwyck, but it’s one that I couldn’t overlook because it’s so much fun! Despite Golden Boy being a drama, it contains its moments of joy like this one where Lorna Moon (Barbara Stanwyck) is invited in Joe’s Italian family for supper. After eating, they decide to play music and joyfully sing “Funiculi Funicula”. You really wish you were here with them because they seem to have a really great time!
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Our Town (Sam Wood, 1940)
When he cries… : In this scene, George (William Holden)’s father tells him that his mother had to chop wood because he forgot to. Full of remorse, he starts to cry quietly. Poor Bill! 😥 This is both a sad and beautiful scene as it shows the vulnerability of his character and proves us that men can cry too! And they have the right to!
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The Remarkable Andrew (Stuart Heisler, 1942)
When he does his morning exercise at the beginning of the film: this scene makes me laugh so much. He’s just so adorable and funny, especially when he jumps around the room like a frog. Hahaha! He also does some weird sounds with his mouth, which makes the thing even more hilarious than it already is.
Just look at the beginning of this clip for this scene!
When Andrew Jackson asks him for a drink and he offers him some grape juice:
Ok, I didn’t remember this scene much, because I haven’t seen the film for a long time, but I read about it in my old William Holden Marathon article. Well, it goes without saying that this is completely adorable. William Holden was so young then!
You’ll find the moment in this clip from 3: 20 to 4: 08
Dear Ruth (William D. Russell, 1947)
Every time he kisses Joan Caulfield spontaneously :  This film certainly is the funniest of Holden’s films (in my opinion). He is so in love with Ruth (Caulfield) that his best way to express it is by kissing her all the times, everywhere. This gives us some hilarious moments and we certainly wished we could exchange places with Caulfield. 😉
I, unfortunately, couldn’t find a clip or a picture from these precise kissing moments, so here is a photo of them together.
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Father is a Bachelor (Abby Berlin and Norma Foster, 1950)
When he sings : Unfortunately, his voice was doubled (which is kind of odd, since I’ve been told that he had a fine singing voice), but, despite that, it remains something delightful. We don’t often see a “musical” Holden so that certainly is our chance. The singing moments are joyful ones and make this film the perfect family movie!
When he smiles to the old maid he is supposed to marry (not a very enthusiatic smile) : Toward the end of the film, he is supposed to marry one of the Cassin sisters in order to keep the poor Chalotte children under his guardianship. To determine which lady will marry him, they play a game of cricket. When Adealine wins, the smiles that Johnny (Holden) gives her is so forced and mixed with disgust that it automatically makes you burst into laughs. And it’s meant to as this film is a comedy! Believe it or not, Bill’s smiles are not always charming ones. 😉
When he makes a dress for May : By accident, Johnny burns little May’s dress. To fix his mess, he decides to confection one himself. He pretends he can, but that’s obviously untrue! The creating process, as well as the results, are pretty catastrophic and amusing. Poor May! Luckily, Johnny eventually manages to obtain a real pretty dress.
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Sunset Blvd (Billy Wilder, 1950)
When he kisses Nancy Olson on the nose: What I like about the scenes between Holden and Olson in this film is that, just like this one proves it, they are so sweet and simple. A kiss on the nose! Can you think of something lovelier?
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When he and Nancy are being theatrical “life!… can be beautiful”: In this false theatrical moment, Betty (Olson) and Joe (Holden) seem to be playing a scene from one of Joe’s films (but we are not 100 % sure). The theatricality is so intentionally exaggerated that it makes us feel the fun that these two can have together. I obviously think that Nancy Olson was one of the actresses with whom Bill had the best on-screen chemistry.
When he interrupts Max who is playing organ: Joe is angry in this scene as his luggage have been moved to his guest room (and he has NO intention to stay). He goes downstairs to ask Max (Erich von Stroheim) who did. This one is playing organ very loudly (what a pleasant way to be awake (!)). What I like about this scene is when he tells him  “Hey you! Max, whatever your name is.” This pretty much sums up his anger and the esteem he has for Max (!)… Also, Max doesn’t stop playing which makes us understand the delightful arrogance of his character!
Union Station (Rudolph Maté, 1950)
His final smile:  I don’t remember so much from this film (remember it was a good one), but this smile he does at the end is one I didn’t forget. It’s such a sweet and contagious one! The typical Golden Boy smile, you know!
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Stalag 17 (Billy Wilder, 1953)
When he discovers the guilty man and says “Ach so!” : This reminds me of my German classes as my teacher was saying that all the time. In this scene, he kinds of imitate Sgt. Johann Schulz (Sig Ruman) who is always saying that as well. We feel he is quite amused and satisfied as he will no longer be the accused one.
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When he cooks an egg: Just because this egg is cooked with so much style!
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Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1953)

When he tries to guess who this beautiful lady is (Sabrina):  When Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) comes back from Paris, she is waiting at the train station for her father who is supposed to pick her. David (William Holden) who is driving by suddenly stops because this beautiful lady certainly grabs his attention. He doesn’t know that she is Sabrina, the daughter of his family’s chauffeur, who has secretly always been in love with him. He offers her a lift and tries to guess who she is. We and Sabrina are obviously quite amused by the situation and things become even more priceless when he finally discovers her real identity. To think that he ignored her all these years!
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When he dances with Sabrina: That’s a beautiful moment full of tenderness and, one more time, we wish we could exchange places with Holden’s female co-star.
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When he sits down on a glass: To prevent his brother to go dance with Sabrina (and spoil his engagement to Elizabeth Tyson), Linus (Humphrey Bogart) invites him to sit on a chair where he has put a glass. Poor David! The glass obviously breaks when he sits down on it and he is in for a long convalescence. We feel sorry for David, but we certainly can’t avoid a few laughs!
When he falls on his butt but after sitting on the glasses:  During his convalescence, David is once again hurt by falling on his already damaged butt. Another hilarious moment that proves that Holden had a perfect comedic timing.
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THAT SMILE when Audrey Hepburn arrives at the ball: Once again, that’s a typical Golden Holden smile and it’s perfectly adorable. But who wouldn’t smile at the sight of Audrey Hepburn?
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The Bridges at Toko-Ri (Mark Robson, 1954)
When Grace Kelly waves at him and he waves back from the boat (the smiles): A quick but sweet romantic moment that perfectly expresses the love that these two have for each other.
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The Country Girl (George Seaton, 1954)
When he kisses Grace Kelly passionately:  On my! There’s full of passion indeed, but also tension in this scene. They are quarreling and he suddenly kisses her. Well, we’re not sure at first if it’s a way to express his love for her or if it’s just a way to make her shut up, but, no matter what, it remains an unforgettable moment that leaves you speechless.
Paris When it Sizzles (Richard Quine, 1964)
When he becomes a vampire: I don’t remember much from this film, but this scene is one that nobody forgets. The theatrical acting is so exaggerated (in an intentional way) and the make-up is so cartoonish. It makes this moment an unforgettable one. And a purple vampire! :O (strange)
You’ll find this moment in this trailer!
The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
When he says “If they move, kill ’em!”: Wow! That’s a good way to chill our blood. This line is said without any pity and it immediately gives us the mood of the film. It also makes us realise that we are now far from the sweet Joe Bonaparte of Golden Boy.
Look at 2:10 to 2: 14 of this clip for this short line!
Every time he says let’s go: Robert Ryan says it too. It’s kind of something that unconsciously connects them. “Let’s go” is not something that seems quite extraordinary to say, but as it is said all the time in this film, it kind of became an iconic line(s). They even made a T-shirt out of it! 😉
Here is an example:
When he waves at Robert Ryan with his hat just before the bridge explodes: We (the spectators) know exactly what is going to happen so we can’t help anticipating this moment. This waving is full of arrogance which, one more time, perfectly shows us the nature of Pike Bishop (Holden).
Breezy (Clint Eastwood, 1973)
The most beautiful lines of the film:  When the two lovers find each other back at the end of the film, he tells her: “Hello, my love”, to what Breezy (Kay Lenz) answers “Hello, my life.” This is just one of the most beautiful moments from the film and it agreeably makes you sigh.
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The Towering Inferno (John Guillermin, 1974)
When he welcomes Paul Newman and they shake hands: Hum, nothing so extraordinary about that, but I guess I just like the idea of Holden and Newman shaking hands. Plus, this one is effectuate with an admirable determination. We like that.
When he feels guilty: It takes long before Jim Duncan (Holden) realises the extent of the catastrophe, but, when he does, he obviously feels guilty about it. He does that little move with his chin (a typical Holden gesture) and we almost have the feeling he is trying not to cry. Anyway, he looks very sad and that just breaks my heart. 😥
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When he punches Richard Chamberlain in the stomach : I know, violence is bad, but here I can’t help approving of this moment, because Roger Simmons (Chamberlain) certainly is one of the most annoying movie characters of all times.
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These are, of course, not all the William Holden’s movies I’ve seen, there are 14 more… And I probably have many other favourite moments that I’m not thinking of right now. You are more than welcomed to share yours with me and that might be a good way to refresh my memory!
To read the other wonderful entries for this blogathon, please click here.
Happy heavenly birthday dear Golden Boy! ❤
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A Golden Weekend for the 2nd Golden Boy Blogathon!

Hey everybody!

So, after two months of waiting patiently for this event, the 2nd Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration is finally here!

It is, of course, my honour to host this event for the second year as I, like many of you I’m sure, am always willing to celebrate the wonderful actor that William Holden was.

The event start today and will end on April 17 , 2017 on Bill’s birthday. Please submit your entry within those dates by commenting on this post or via email at virginie.pronovost@gmail.com, or Twitter@Ginnie_SP, or by messaging our Facebook page.

Your entry will be included to the roster as you submit it.

If you have a Twitter account, please include your Twitter handle in your submission. That would be great as it will help me to promote your entry!

To the readers (and bloggers) make sure to read all the wonderful entries that were written by these participants of quality. There is a lot of efforts put in our William Holden celebration!

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The Holdener’s entries

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A big thanks to all the participants. I’m sure William Holden would have been honoured by this collective tribute!

Happy heavenly birthday dear Golden Boy! ❤

Announcing The 2nd Golden Boy Blogathon: a William Holden Celebration!

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Hey there!

I’m so happy to announce that The Golden Boy Blogathon: a William Holden Celebration will be back again this year! William Holden is my second favourite actor and I truly enjoyed celebrating him via this blog last year. It was quite a success and everybody wrote marvellous pieces! So, it obviously had to be back! 🙂

Everybody is welcomed to participate. The event will take place from April 15 to April 17 (on Bill’s birthday), 2017.

As usual, there are some simple rules to follow:

1- Choose your subject. It can be anything related to William Holden. Please, no duplicates. William Holden had a long and beautiful career, so there are plenty of ideas. Of course, if you want to write something very personal like a tribute on why you love him (like I did last year), I can allow duplicates, because it’s a very vague topic. You can write more than one entry, but I would prefer you to limit yourself to two, precisely to give the chance to others to write about a topic they love (as I don’t allow duplicates).

2- Submit your subject by commenting on this post. You can also submit it via email at virginie.pronovost@gmail.com, Twitter @Ginnie_SP or via The Wonderful World of Cinema’s Facebook Page. Give me the name of your blog, the URL, and your topic.

3- Once your choice has been confirmed, please grab one of these banners to help me promote the event on your blog. The more the merrier! 🙂

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4- On twitter, use the following hashtag: #2GoldenBoyBlogathon

5- On the blogathon dates, April 15, 16 and 17, 2017, I will publish a new post where you’ll be able to submit your entries. You can also send them via email, Facebook or Twitter.

6- If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. And enjoy yourself! 🙂


Here is the roster :

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Once again, let’s make him smile! 🙂 That smile! ❤

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